GERM 310
The Holocaust in the German Imagination Spring 2018
Division I Exploring Diversity Initiative
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How do we think about an event that unsettles the very notion of representation? An indelible part of German history and culture, the Holocaust continues to challenge the artistic imagination by simultaneously calling for and resisting interpretation. This course examines the various ways in which German-speaking writers, artists, and directors have responded to this call since the 1930s. We will explore questions of memory and postmemory, the entanglements of trauma, guilt, and testimony, as well as the tensions and continuities between Germany’s rich cultural heritage and portrayals of the Holocaust. Taking into consideration different forms of artistic expression, such as literature, film, and visual art, including sites of commemoration, this class will trace the relationship between past and present. What might it mean to write and think in the language of the perpetrators? How do texts by Holocaust survivors and first-hand witnesses relate to those created by later generations? What are the differences between West and East German representations of the Shoah, and how do they differ from how immigrants in Germany or Austrian artists engage with the event? Among others, we will read texts by Paul Celan, Nelly Sachs, Anna Seghers, Ruth Klüger, Ingeborg Bachmann, Elfriede Jelinek, Peter Weiss, W. G. Sebald, and Zafer Senocak, as well as watch films by Michael Haneke, Max Färberböck, Frank Beyer, Volker Schlöndorff, Stefan Ruzowitzky, and Caroline Link. Conducted in German.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: none
Expected: 8
Class#: 3395
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: short critical papers, oral presentation
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: GERM 202 or the equivalent
Enrollment Preferences: prospective German majors
Distributions: Division I Exploring Diversity Initiative

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